Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bases for Menoth

When I chose the Protectorate of Menoth, I decided that I wanted bases to reflect the Bloodstone Desert. I pictured that as a cracked surface like a dry bed. So here’s what I did:

First a swatch of 0.010” plastic covered the slot in the base.

I then mixed up some epoxy putty and shoved a dab onto each base.

A drop of water was put on the putty to act as a release agent, covered with a sheet of wax paper, and then rolled out with the handle of a hobby knife.

You want to roll the putty out until you can clearly see the edge of the base all the way around.

Here’s the base with the wax paper pulled off. The excess putty pops off easily and the rest of the residue cleans up easily with a wet paper towel.

Know the pattern of the dry lake bed was cut into the surface with a hobby knife. Try using various size irregular polygons ranging from triangles to hexagons, with quadrilaterals and pentagons dominating.

After the putty cured, the bases were primed with white primer. They desert was then base coated with Delta Ceramcoat Trail Tan. Once that was dry, a wash of Renaissance Ink brown ink mixed 1:4 with water covered the base. The desert was finished with dry brushing of successive layers of Tail Tan and White in ratios of 1:0, 2:1, and finished with 1:1.

Hope you've found some of this usefull!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Menoth recruits...

Well I finally played my first game of Warmachine! I think krimso (he of the Lead Projekts blog) let me win to suck me in further, but it was still fun.

Now that I am on a roll, I've added two more to the Menoth team -

Paladin of the Wall

And the Vassal of Menoth
Painting these have been fun. I have one more Warmachine figure oen the paint table, the Vassal Mechanik, and as soon as that's done, it's time to get on with other projects.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May in Review

Completed: (3) Wamachine figures and (1) 15mm building
Purchased: (3) Warmachine - Menoth wrecked light and heavy jacks, and the Vassal Mechanik solo
                  (1) Reaper Chronoscope - Gretha, Female Sniper
                  (7) 15mm vehicles from Brigade Models (gotta take advantage of the US$ to British exchange rate!)
                  (10) 6mm vehicles from Brigade (was actually 14, but the packet broke open during shipment and 4 were lost)

Making my updated stats:

Monday, May 31, 2010

Menoth reporting for duty!

I hammered like crazy the last week but I finished my first battlegroup to lay Warmachine! Years in the making, now I can actually play! Most are from the boxed set: Kreoss as warcaster...

A Revenger...

And a Repenter...

And just finshed, a plastic Vanquisher...

Here's a Family portrait, everybody stand up straight...

Now not only can I play Warmachine, but I have finished the first project of the Lead Covenant. I'll post Covenant progress and The Pledge totals for May tomorrow.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Mill

Just a quick post for something I finished earlier in the month, the 15mm Prussian Mill from JR Miniatures.

It was a quick job. I used it to experiment with the Devlan Mud wash by GW that everyone is always raving about on YouTube. It's pretty good. I think I will match it to a craft paint color and make a batch of my own wash in  a similar color. GW washes are just too expensive for what you get.

This last week I have been hammering hard on getting a basic battle group for Warmachine completed. I've just got the metal trim to go on the heavy jack and have to mount the light jack on to a base. I feel pressured to get them done this month so I can do something about my Pledge totals for May. My order of 15mm vehicles arrived from Brigade Models and I picked up some Warmachine wrecked jack markers while I was travelling on business. This is going to be my second month in a row losing ground on the Pledge, but I am doing my best to minimize that lost ground. A lot of time has been spent on Startown, which is impacting my totals for the month (that and a week of business travel). Hopefully the Startown work will translate into better totals for June! I have to make some headway as the dread Historicon approaches, which will drive July Pledge totals into serious negative numbers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Startown Part 2

Back to Startown, I like my buildings to blend well into their bases. I’ve used plaster, epoxy putty, and spackle. This time I thought I’d try something new. At my local building store, I picked up a tub of Elmer’s Wood Filler. A Popsicle stick was used to trowel the filler in place. It went in very easily and any extra splatter on the building shaved off easily with an Xacto knife once the filler had dried.

The wood filler also had the advantage of being very carveable. Once dry, it was only a few minutes work to get everything smooth by scraping the surface with the back of an Xacto blade. One bit of warning: the side of the tub warns about the fumes being an eye irritant. They are not kidding! Work in a well ventilated area!

I decided to install rare earth magnets to hold the antennae masts and roofs in place. When I looked at the samples at the Battle Works Studio table the masts were always falling over and the roofs were always shifting.

Here is a shot with the roofs and masts in place. I also added sand to the base at this point.

This is an interim photo. Everything has been primed flat black, the ground work has been colored with several layers of drybrushing. The antennae have been sprayed with an old can of Pactra Platinum (I’ve been building models a looong time).

And here is the last shot for this post with the building given a clean black basing.

‘Till next time!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Love at first sight

I remember it just like it was last February. We were both at GZG-ECC13. It was Saturday morning and I think I was playing a 6mm Dirtside game. I turned to look over at one of the vendor tables and there she was... spread out seductively on the Battle Works Studios table... and I said "You will be mine! Oh, yes, you will be mine!"
Look at those lines! Baby, this was some 15mm SF terrain I could go for in a big way! I went for the Battle Works intro deal of all five buildings for $69. I haven't quite figured out what the deal is online. While I bought them from Battle Works, I see can't find Startown on their website. I do find them on the website of If your interested in getting them, try asking at one of theses two sites.

Here is my odyssey to get them to the gaming table.

First I decided to mount them on birch ply bases. I didn't care for the sloped earth around the walls and the open floors. I traced the outline for each building onto some 1/8th inch birch ply from the local Michaels craft store (can't let those 40% coupons in the Sunday paper go to waste). I them used my ancient dremel jigsaw to cut out bean shaped bases.
I then took my battery powered Craftsman tool with a sanding drum and beveled the edges. I did this outside over a garbage can to keep down the dust in the basement.
Next the bases were sealed with some Delta wood sealer. I've found that if you coat just one side of ply this thin it will warp, so I hold the bases upright with spring clips and uniformly seal half of each side. After the sealer has dried, the clips get rotated and the other half of both sides get coated.
The buildings were then glued to the bases with 5 minute epoxy.
Next time I'll continue with the ground work and integrating the buildings into the base.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bugs, Mr.Rico! Thousands of Bugs!

Well, actually ten.

And they're ants. And they are not so threatening; as in 15mm they are little better than chihuahua size. But they are fun little fellows by Khurasan.

Also finished are some Japanese pieces by Amorcast that have been in my "to do" bin forever.

I've also been making a lot of progress on my Warmachine Menoth figures and the Startown slum buildings, which I will blog about in detail in a few days. They are a lot of fun and have given me ideas to extend the five buildings into a full fledged project with dedicated vehicles and figures.

So how does this leave the month of April for me. Ten 15mm bugs and four pieces of scenery painted. I only bought one piece of scenery (a 15mm Paddle House from the JR Miniatures prussian line), the new Menoth plastic heavy jack kit by Privateer Press, and the new Menoth warcaster Vice Scrutator Vindictus. So I made 11 head way in April, but still have bought more than I painted for the year. A scarey thought with Historicon in the not too distant future.

I also managed to mount and clean 16 NAC 15mm, take 12 cleaned and get them primed. Sadly, no NAC got finished in April.

This leaves my totals as:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fuel Dump Part 2

Let's finish up this bad boy!
Here the fuel dump has been cated in a fine sand and primed with a blak primer. I made a lot of effort to get the sand to be about the same size grain as the texture already on the scenery. I used a very fine grain intended for decorative fake flower arrangements which I picked up at a dollar store.

And here is the finished piece with some GZG 15mm NAC for size comparison. It is painted using Delta Ceramcoat craft paints. Ceramcoat paints are actually a cell vinyl paint, and except for a few colors, has excellent pigment. I use it for almost all my painting. The shed itself was basecoated with Vellejo Gunmetal and then followed the directions here for doing rust.

I am pretty sure the "apstels" refered to in the article are by Bragdon Enterprises. I happen to have a set of them that I picked up at a plastic model show something like 10 years ago. Imagine my surprise to find not only was bragdon still in business...

They are still selling the 12 color set I have for the same price I bought it for a decade ago! (FF-R12 WEATHER SYSTEM brand Small Twelve color KIT). The dry adhesive in the powder worked like a champ and I was very happy with the result!

The directions with the powders said they did not require a topcoat, but as gaming scenery gets handled much more than scale models I went with a couple coats of Testors Dullcoat.
Other than a few patches of static grass, that's it! I'm really psyched to move on to the Slumtown using the techniques I learned on this project.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fuel Dump Part 1

At the last GZG-ECC, I won a Fuel/Supply Dump by King & Kerr (KK-007 15mm FoW Fuel/Supply Dump Objective Marker). While I don't play Flames of War, I do play a lot of 15mm SF and I thought as it was a damaged Fuel Dump it would be a nice place to practice some techniques for my next project - the SF Startown Slums by Battle Works Studios, which is my next scenery project.
One thing I wasn't so thrilled about is how thick the base is. It's over 3mm thick and I liek a gentle transition into the gaming table.

To fix this, I drilled a number of holes along the edge and glued in some wire. I made sure that the wire touched the surface of the table.

I placed everything on a sheet of wax paper and mixed up a ball of Apoxie Sculpt. The Apoxie Sculpt got mashed down over the wires and had everything smoothed out with a wet finger.

Next post I'll cover the finishing of the piece. Later!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

March in Review

Well, I got 16 NAC Ghurkas done. I tried some different techniques for these two squads. First, I went for a brader variety of skin tones. I basically have a mix of dark, medium, and light skin tones using three colors and an ink. I detail the process in a future blog. I didn't do much in the way of facial details as the slouch hats would have obscured most of it anyway.

I also decided to start indicating the squad member with the first aid pack. I originally intended to put the red cross on the shoulder but discovered that the smallest decal on the Decal Express red cross sheet were too large for a 15mm figure's arm. So I put them on their back pack. I'll go back and add the decal to the back pack of the already painted figures.

I've started working on some scenery; the King & Kerr Supply Dump I won at GZG-ECC and the Startown Slums set I picked up at GZG-ECC from Battle Works Studios. I'll post pictures shortly.

Here are my totals for March:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oh, I was bad!

I don’t mean that I didn’t get much painting done this week (which is true) but lately I’ve managed to be pretty disciplined. Not much purchased and making a dent in the lead pile.

But then came those rat b*st*rds at Khurasan Miniatures. When they posted the pre-production pictures of the Corporate Marine Legged Heavy Assault Cyborg (“L-HAC”), I thought “Wow! Those are sweet!”. At that time I managed to control my lust.

Then recently TMP published some fully painted pictures and I thought “Wow! There out! And those are sweet!”. But I was strong….

This week TMP had some pictures of the new 15mm Felid Heavy Battle Circle. Yummy! And my will kept me safe… Then I saw the painted Heavy Circle posted on DROPSHIP HORIZON. I was toast. Curse you Khurasan Miniatures! Curse you DROPSHIP HORIZON!

Thursday afternoon I ordered two L-HACs, two packs of Felid Heavy Circle, their Vacationing Alien (more poses please!) and a pack of ants (I can’t even explain why this pack). Saturday Mr.Postman delivered the goods! Outstanding service from Khurasan.

The L-HAC consists of 7 resin parts on two very robust sprues and 4 cast metal parts.

I have been building resin garage kits and wargame accessories for almost 20 years and this is some of the finest casting I have ever seen. Look at the undercuts on this torso. Incredible!

I thought I would show you some figures I finished earlier this year. These are my Free Cal Tex (15mm) from GZG. I have three squads (24 figs total) finished and three more packs. I had been reading the first Gaunt Ghosts trilogy and really got the itch for some Imperial Guard. I almost bought a box but my GW aversion kicked in as well as my preference for 15mm. While rummaging through my lead pile, my eye fell to these Free Cal Tex and thought they were reminiscent of GW’s Cadian troopers. So I painted them in a similar paint scheme. Now I am looking for a good figure to convert to a commissar.

Well, that' it for now. I did make some progress on my NAC Ghurkas. Just have to paint the weapons and clean up the bases and they'll be done!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Booty Call!

Originally posted March 9, 2010

So krimso and I hashed out the details and we will include what we picked up at GZG-ECC in the totals we track. Harrummph! So much for starting with a clean slate!

One of the cool things about GZG-ECC is that beside being an intensive game experience, you walk away with free stuff. Everybody gets a door prize, you get something for every game you play in, you get prizes for placing in the painting contest, and this year to celebrate GZG's anniversary (the company, not the convention) the mighty Jon Tuffley sent buckets of extra give-aways.

Sure, I still bought stuff from vendors, but here is my haul:

Free Booty:
(2) 28mm figs
(23) 15 mm figs
(2) 15mm vehicles
(1) 6mm truck
(1) terrain casting

(6) Starship trooper bugs
(5) 15mm buildings

Resetting the counters, my pledge totals are:
I put the bugs into "Other" as I don't play Starship Troopers and I can use them in any scale.

So those freebies have me behind the eight ball! Better get painting....